Follow TV Tropes

Please don't list this on a work's page as a trope.


Fridge Run

Go To

A Fridge Run is exactly what it sounds like, the frantic rush to the refrigerator during commercials, done only during a show that is so good that you would rather hear Vogon poetry than miss a minute of it.

Be aware that according to former Turner Broadcasting CEO Jamie Kellner (the man who screwed over Animaniacs, Freakazoid!, and World Championship Wrestling), as quoted in a 2002 interview with Cableworld, you're not allowed to do this because you have an alleged implicit contract with the broadcaster to watch the commercials. Every last one. (He did reluctantly allow you to go to the bathroom, though.) Though as Sam Goldwyn might have said, an implied contract isn't worth the paper it's implied to be written on.


This may be on its way to becoming a Discredited Trope with the rise of on-demand TV and digital recording services, meaning you can watch these at your leisure later and skip the ad breaks.

If you go the fridge at the end of the show, you might start questioning the plot, realizing clever details, or having a scary epiphany.

Of course, if your refrigerator is itself running, you may have trouble catching it.



  • The legendary "super flush effect" works like so; when a television program that an insanely high number of people are watching goes to commercial, everyone who was holding off on using the toilet does so at once, and the combined flush of all those toilets creates a sewer-based tidal wave. This does, in fact, happen, although not nearly as often as rumored. Some examples:
    • Immediately following the end of the M*A*S*H Grand Finale movie.
    • The first moon-walk.
    • It doesn't seem to happen during the Super Bowl — possibly because Madison Avenue puts its all into Super Bowl commercials making the commercials themselves some of the attraction, possibly just because there are so many commercial breaks.
      • However those commercials that air during local breaks are fair game as they're usually the same dull ambulance chasing lawyer and carpet store commercials you see every day.
    • See also this Straight Dope article.
    • Used as a plot point in the movie Flushed Away (half-time in a World Cup final between England and Germany).
      • Also in an episode of AAAHH!!! Real Monsters, wherein every year during the "Great Flush" (ie, the Superbowl), the monsters hold a surfing competition.
    • Advertisement:
    • Foiled a world domination attempt in a Pinky and the Brain episode.
    • This happened in Edmonton, Alberta (and likely much of the rest of Canada) during the 2010 Winter Olympics men's hockey gold medal game. There's a graph and everything.
  • In the UK, the pumped storage facility at Dinorwig is used to boost the amount of electricity available in the national Grid for sudden or brief surges (most power plants require at least half an hour lag. Dinorwig can go from 0 to full power in 75 seconds) The official tour of the facility states that they regularly schedule going on for the commercial break in popular soap Coronation Street when millions of electric kettles across the country are switched on. They pick over all the TV schedules to find the day's high-demand points. In truth, kettles are a relatively minor part of the surge in demand: The real driver is a variant of the above-mentioned "super flush effect", as the water companies experience their own usage spike and throttle up the pumps in response.
    • In the Super Nintendo version of SimCity, this is what caused the Nuclear Meltdown in the Boston scenario.
      • In the fan made "Apocalypse Challenge" for The Sims 2, the exact same gimmick is used to explain the basis of the challenge.
    • Red Dwarf referenced this in "Nanarchy". The Cat notes that the electrical storm he's experiencing on the planetoid that the titular Red Dwarf has been transformed into is greater than the one that went through the national grid during the commercial break of the all girl custard wrestling final.
  • In Professional Wrestling, the women's matches are usually the cue for fridge runs, bathroom breaks, or general "would rather poke my eyes out with a spork than watch this". This is due to the large majority of them being useless Fanservice-y fluff pieces involving Bra-And-Panties matches, Pillow Fights, or just plain Cat Fights. The rare exception might be some of the 2000-2008 WWE matches involving Trish Stratus, Lita, Chyna, and Ivory, and most any women's match in TNA.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: